2 Timothy 1:7 – For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (NIV)
Colossians 2:6-7 – So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (NIV)
In downtown Thomasville, Georgia, there is a giant live oak tree, an American species of evergreen oak. It is 323 years old and 68 feet tall, and has a trunk circumference of 24 feet. Its limb spread is 162 feet, about as wide as Niagara Falls is deep, and it's the largest oak tree east of the Mississippi. More than three centuries ago, a tiny acorn fell from another tree, whether on the same spot, or carried there by a squirrel, the wind, or some other means. It sprouted, developed roots, and has remained steadfast for a long time.
I stand in awe each time I see this tree, which has become a landmark of our town. I think of its roots, its stability, and its endurance, and find myself comparing it to the Christian life. Just as the tree has a vast root system that grounds it, people of faith have roots that ground them in the faith. The church, teachers, pastors, writers, camp counsellors, and recreation directors all provide a nurturing network helping us to reach our potential.
Just as the oak tree grows, so do we as Christians, nurtured as much by our own unseen network as by being a part of this nurturing system for other Christians. As the mighty oak extends her branches, so we as Christians can extend our nurturing arms out to others.
Prayer: As the mighty oak grows, help us to grow as Christians, strong, steadfast, and dependable. Help us to reach out our branches to nurture others, helping them along life's way. Amen.